Currents of Change: El Niño's Impact on Climate and Society

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Abstract

More than 450 scientific articles have been published over the past 6 years with titles containing at least one of the key words El Niño, La Niña, Southern Oscillation, or ENSO. Almost 15% of these articles studied ecological impacts of El Niño ranging from infectious disease outbreaks, to intertidal community dynamics, to wheat yields. A mere 2% explicitly examined the phenomenon's socio-economic effects on such vital issues as water management or profit-maximizing input levels for crop production. Thus, a large gap exists between the information being generated by the scientific community about El Niño and its actual utilization by society.

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